Super Dragon returns to the ring, B-Boy and Chris Hero make surprise appearances, and Player Uno wins a strike exchange against Davey Richards...should I keep going?
FEAR on December 10th, 2011
Opening Match: Brian Cage-Taylor and Ryan Taylor vs. Kenny King and TJ Perkins
This was originally supposed to be a singles match between King and Perkins. However, the Fightin' Taylor Boys challenged them since Los Luchas, their original opponents, couldn't make it to the show. The Fightin’ Taylor Boys attack before the opening bell. Taylor even throws the referee out of the ring since he’s on a roll. He drops King back-first across the apron. The action goes back into the ring and Excalibur is confused as to whether or not he should ring the bell. King connects with a spin kick on Cage and a basement dropkick on Taylor. Perkins unleashes a flurry of kicks before getting caught by a nasty spinning roundhouse kick from Taylor. Kevin Steen is upset on commentary that the Fightin’ Taylor Boys are stealing Appetite for Destruction’s double team moves. They isolate Perkins until he takes advantage of some miscommunication and makes the tag. King connects with a series of lariats and hits a spinebuster on Cage. He hits a shoulder-capture suplex on Taylor but gets sent to the floor. Perkins snaps off a hurricanrana on Taylor and takes him out with a dive to the floor. Cage follows out with a top rope moonsault. In the ring, Perkins powerbombs Cage while King hits a sick backbreaker on Taylor. King connects with an enzuigiri on Cage, who responds with a big suplex. Taylor lands a swantan onto King for a nearfall. Perkins connects with a double springboard dropkick and hits his Go 2 Sleep variant on Taylor. Cage lays out King with a discus lariat while Taylor bicycle kicks Perkins to the outside. The Fightin’ Taylor Boys hit their assisted front-flipping piledriver on King for the win at 12:12. PWG has become a master at making the most out of card changes and I think this tag team match ended up being much more interesting than a King/Perkins singles encounter. Much like the RockNES Monsters, the Fightin’ Taylor Boys are really stepping up and proving that they can have a quality match with a variety of different teams. Aside from the finish, the crowd was vocal for the action and these two teams delivered a solid opener. ***
Match #2: The Amazing Red vs. Roderick Strong
Red is making his PWG debut in this match. Neither man can gain the advantage early on until Red connects with a basement dropkick. Strong rams him into the apron but gets caught by a superkick in the ring. Red tries a slingshot maneuver but Strong catches him with a backbreaker. The action goes to the outside where Strong just launches Red into the apron. Back in, Strong takes control until Red hits a tornado DDT. Red snaps off a hurricanrana and lands a corkscrew dive to the floor. In the ring, Red connects with a missile dropkick. Strong blocks the code red and hits a back suplex. He lays in a series of forearms and hits a gutbuster. Red matrixes to avoid a lariat and connects with a gamengiri. He jumps off the top rope and plants Strong with a swinging flatliner. Strong connects with a flying knee strike and hits an olympic slam. He locks in the Stronghold but Red kind of reverses the hold into a code red. Red counters a gutbuster into a reverse hurricanrana. He snaps off a basement hurricanrana and lands a standing shooting star press. Strong responds with a backbreaker and almost breaks Red’s neck with a Gibson Driver for the victory at 14:35. They attempted all of the crazy exchanges that you would expect but something was off and these two just didn’t have good chemistry together. Fortunately, the crowd hung with them and they almost got the match over through sheer force of will. It wasn’t for a lack of effort, but I don’t think this match worked as well everyone thought it would. **¾
Match #3: Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas, Joey Ryan, and Scorpio Sky vs. B-Boy, Famous B, Chris Kadillak, and Candice LeRae
Kadillak catches Rosas with a pele kick and boots him in the face. Avalon calls out B-Boy, which ends up being a huge mistake. Sky and Famous B have a fast-paced exchange that ends after a dropkick from Famous B. Ryan and LeRae run through their usual comedy spots as the crowd comically chants “this is wrestling.” LeRae snaps off a hurricanrana and applies an octopus hold. Sky breaks it up with a stiff kick. The heels argue over what move to do to LeRae before her partners save her. The faces connect with stereo shuffling kicks in the corner. Rosas plants Kadillak with a sit-out gourdbuster and the heels isolate him. He hits a shooting star cannonball on Sky and makes the tag. LeRae hits the ballsplex on all four of her opponents. The heels connect with stereo cock punches but LeRae is immune. She just goes around and pimp slaps her opponents. LeRae plants Avalon with a tornado DDT on the floor. Ryan spears her off the apron. Rosas hip tosses B-Boy into a backbreaker. Kadillak lands a dive to the outside. Sky and Famous B follow out with dives of their own. B-Boy lays out Rosas with a michinoku driver on the apron. All eight people are down. In the ring, B-Boy hits an ace crusher on Avalon and adds a gamengiri. Sky hurricanranas B-Boy off the middle rope. LeRae powerbombs Sky but falls victim to a boobsplex from Rosas. Ryan hits a pumphandle exploder on Kadillak and follows with a spinebuster for a nearfall. Famous B connects with a leg lariat on Ryan and lands a nice swantan. Avalon hits a pumphandle slam on Famous B and a basement flatliner on B-Boy. Everyone starts hitting moves. You reach a point where play-by-play nearly becomes impossible. This is it. Ryan hits the boobsplex on LeRae, who answers with a swinging neckbreaker from the middle rope. Everyone else starts brawling around ringside. Ryan superkicks LeRae and Sky adds a TKO for the win at 21:46. This is one of those matches that you’ll only see in PWG, as it was able to combine legitimate comedy with great action for over twenty minutes. However, I’m not sure if this match is for everyone. The constant slew of moves down the stretch went a bit too long and the finish ended up being a letdown unless there are plans for the Dynasty to feud with LeRae or B-Boy. Even at that, I think the comedy involving LeRae has been played out enough over the past few years. Still, I greatly enjoyed the in-ring action and there looks to be a lot of potential in Rosas, Kadillak, and Famous B. ***¼
Match #4: Chris Hero vs. Willie Mack
Hero is making a surprise appearance here and the crowd couldn't be happier to see him. He blindsides Mack with a yakuza kick during the introductions. They trade strikes and Mack is able to hold his own. The action goes to the outside where Mack throws Hero into some chairs. Back in, Hero catches him with a mafia kick and a flash kick. He takes over until Mack fights back with a series of strikes. Mack hits a gutbuster followed by an exploder. Hero responds with a claw slam to pay tribute to Bison Smith. Mack hits a samoan drop. Hero evades a standing moonsault and catches him with a cravate neckbreaker. Mack connects with a knockout kick as the crowd starts dueling chants. Hero lays out Mack with his stomp-roaring elbow combination. Mack tries a quick backslide (like at this year's Battle of Los Angeles) to no avail and hits a german suplex. He connects with the MDX followed by a slingshot dropkick. Hero answers with the Deathblow for a nearfall. Mack hits a saito suplex and follows with a lariat. Mack adds the Chocolate Thunder Driver for the victory at 14:27. Although I liked their previous match together better, it was nice to see Hero again and this was another big win for Mack. The crowd was hyped for Hero's surprise return and they made the strike exchanges and back and forth action a lot more energetic and interesting. I'm curious to see where Mack goes from here, as he seems to have a wealth of momentum and crowd support. ***
Hero says that whatever his future holds, PWG is still his home.
Match #5: Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly vs. Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma
O'Reilly and Yuma avoid each other's strikes and find themselves at a stalemate. Yuma gets a little too wacky with his offense and almost finds himself trapped in a kneebar. Cole snaps off a few armdrags on Goodtime and connects with a dropkick. Future Shock follow with some double teaming. Not to be outdone, the RockNES Monsters answer with some double team maneuvers on Cole. Yuma gets caught by a superkick and Future Shock isolate him. He hits a DDT-bulldog combination and makes the tag. Goodtime connects with a double slingshot dropkick and hits a jawbreaker-neckbreaker combination on Cole. He follows with a series of double stomps and a falcon arrow. Cole finally responds with a slingshot DDT onto the apron. He blocks a dive from Yuma and O’Reilly hits rolling butterfly suplexes. Future Shock lay out Goodtime with a DDT-german suplex combination. Goodtime uses Yuma as a battering ram and slams him onto O’Reilly. O’Reilly jumps off the middle rope and hits a lungblower on Yuma. Cole adds a backcracker for a nearfall. O’Reilly wins a strike exchange against Goodtime. Yuma hits a tornado DDT on O’Reilly. Goodtime connects with a bicycle kick on Cole and all four men are down. Yuma hurricanranas O’Reilly over the top rope. Goodtime hits a powerbomb on Cole and Yuma follows with the Sex Factor. Goodtime lands a frog splash onto Cole for the win at 16:41. This contest wasn’t comparable to the frantic, fast-paced match that Future Shock had against the Young Bucks and maybe that’s a good thing. This show had a stacked card on paper and when looking at the matches to come, perhaps the biggest compliment that you can give this match is that it provided quality tag team wrestling without burning out the crowd. The RockNES Monsters have been winning a lot of matches as of late and I’m looking forward to their outing against the Spiked Mohicans at the next show. ***
Match #6: Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards vs. Player Uno and Player Dos
Edwards and Dos begin with some chain wrestling and neither man can gain the advantage. Richards and Uno trade forearms. Richards lays in some stiff kicks and applies an indian deathlock. Uno slams Edwards down to the canvas and poses with Dos. The American Wolves follow suit and everyone stands posing in the ring. The Super Smash Brothers connect with stereo basement dropkicks. Uno takes out the American Wolves with a dive to the floor. In the ring, Dos hits a slingshot senton on Richards and connects with an enzuigiri on Edwards. Uno gets caught by multiple headbutts from Edwards and the American Wolves work him over. He hits a flatliner on Richards and makes the tag. Dos lands a flying crossbody onto Edwards and hits a german suplex on Richards. He follows by laying out both of his opponents with a tornado DDT. Dos lands a dive to the floor onto Richards and connects with a flying leg lariat on Edwards. Edwards responds with a sit-out gourdbuster on Dos and Richards adds a missile dropkick. Dos avoids the Alarm Clock and Richards accidentally enzuigiris Edwards. Richards hits a northern lights suplex on Uno while pinning Dos for a nearfall. Edwards lands a dive to the outside onto Uno while Richards hits a superplex on Dos. Richards follows with a falcon arrow and applies an ankle lock. Edwards traps Uno in an achilles lock as well. The SSB turn the holds into rollups for two nearfalls. Richards synchs in another ankle lock on Uno but gets planted by a reverse hurricanrana by Dos. Edwards connects with a lariat on Dos and all four men are down. The American Wolves unleash a flurry of strikes. Dos overhead suplexes Edwards into Richards in the corner. The SSB hit a wheelbarrow lungblower on Edwards for a nearfall. Uno gets Edwards up into a gory special. Richards stares down Uno and kicks him. They exchange slaps and Richards connects with the Alarm Clock. Richards punts Dos from the apron. Edwards connects with a flying double stomp on Uno and Richards does the same. The American Wolves hit their powerbomb-backcracker combination on Uno and Edwards transitions into an achilles lock for the win at 22:08. The match moved along nicely and was structured in such a way that down the finishing stretch, the crowd was biting on the nearfalls and actually believed that the Super Smash Brothers could defeat the American Wolves. That last sentence is the beauty of PWG. You’re not going to see a match this competitive between these two teams anywhere else. I really liked how Richards and Uno were established as equals in the striking game throughout the match and every interaction between them received a great reaction from the crowd. Although the Super Smash Brothers have yet to pick up a victory in PWG, that hasn’t stopped them from making an immediate impact. ***¾
Richards talks about the toughness of the Super Smash Brothers and the crowd cheers for them. Edwards refuses to shake hands with Richards, playfully hinting at their current feud in Ring of Honor.
Match #7: El Generico vs. Dick Togo
They trade control early on and Generico is able to snap off a few armdrags. They find themselves at a stalemate after a fast-paced exchange. Togo sneaks in a cheap shot and snaps off an impressive headscissors out of the corner. Generico teases a dive after some more armdrags. Togo takes control after a standing moonsault of all things. Excalibur and Chris Hero are stunned on commentary. Togo applies a headlock and does a handstand while doing so. This man is amazing. Generico lures him to the floor and follows out with a moonsault. In the ring, Generico hits a blue thunder bomb but Togo responds with a leaping neckbreaker. Togo connects with a basement superkick followed by a lariat. Generico hits a michinoku driver out of nowhere and both men are down. They trade forearms. Generico connects with a yakuza kick and hits a half nelson suplex. He follows with the same combination but Togo is up! Togo attempts a quick crucifix to no avail and locks in a crossface. Generico is able to reach the bottom rope. Generico connects with a corner yakuza kick and hits a brainbuster for a nearfall. Togo responds with a pedigree and goes up top. Generico follows him up and falls victim to another pedigree, this time off the middle rope. That only gets a two count. Togo hits yet another pedigree and follows with a top rope senton for a nearfall. Generico blocks a tornado DDT and places Togo on the top rope. Generico connects with a corner yakuza kick and hits a top rope brainbuster for the victory at 21:36. I haven't seen much of Togo's work so I wasn't sure what to expect from this match. However, I knew a lot of other people were really excited for this encounter and I have to think that these two met and perhaps exceeded the high expectations put on them. It was a lot of fun watching Togo fly around the ring and match speed with Generico. Togo looked like he was having the time of his life in the ring and I think Generico was the perfect opponent for him. The finishing stretch featured multiple red-hot nearfalls and the crowd erupted for the actual finish. With Togo being on his retirement tour, I think a lot of people will want to check out this match for a multitude of reasons. They won't be disappointed. ****
Steen celebrates by ripping apart the titles. He says that the titles stink of the Young Bucks. The new champions celebrate to end the show.
The 411: I value consistency in shows and FEAR had it. I gave seven out of the eight matches three stars or higher and that’s pretty remarkable. The last three matches were fantastic and each one brought something different to the table. Sure, some of the undercard matches could have been better, but the card as a whole worked brilliantly and this was a three-hour show that definitely didn’t feel like three hours. PWG has had a fantastic 2011 and if this show is any indication, they show no signs of slowing down in 2012. Much like Steen Wolf, this is an easy recommendation.